Print 37 comment(s) - last by Goty.. on Oct 6 at 5:38 PM

New phone is expected to be flagship Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich" phone

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) delivered an updated fifth generation iPhone dubbed the "iPhone 4S" yesterday.  Many felt the design underwhelmed.  The phone lacked full HSPA+, offering only offering HSDPA.  And the screen size and resolution remained unchanged.

Apple's decision not to upgrade the industry-leading Retina display seemed like a sound one given current products, but if a teaser from top Android-phonemaker Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) is any indication, it may be one that Apple comes to regret in months to come.

Samsung released a teaser video just 24 hours after Apple's big event bragging "something BIG is coming".  

The phone in that trailer may be the Nexus Prime, a Google, Inc. (GOOG) branded flagship smartphone.  With each generation of Android, Google handpicks a flagship model.  For Android 3.5 "Ice Cream Sandwich" -- the release the unifies the tablet and smartphone code trees -- Google appears (based on the logos slapped on the teaser video) to have selected a Samsung handset for the distinction, much to the surprise of some who expected it to pick a model produced by its subsidiary Motorola.

Such models -- e.g. the Nexus One -- haven't always done so well in sales. 

But the Nexus Prime could buck that trend.  This week Samsung unveiled in its home nation of South Korea the monstrous Galaxy S II HD LTE, complete with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED handset with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution -- 50 percent more pixels than the iPhone 4S display.  The Nexus Prime is expected to get an LTE modem and a similar high-resolution screen.

It's possible the Nexus Prime is simply a rebranded and repackaged Galaxy S II HD LTE smartphone.  It's clear that at least some repackaging is afoot as the teaser shows a curved body, which indicates a curved glass overlay to the LCD and/or a curved LCD.  This is an interesting design move and could exempt Samsung's design from infringement claims by Apple.

Otherwise the video drops little in the way of clues about the phone's identity, showing only a power switch and three-pin docking connector.  

Samsung is currently fighting to ban the iPhone 4S in various regions and Apple is likely to return the favor with Samsung's next generation products like the Galaxy S II HD and Nexus Prime.

Sources: YouTube, Samsung

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Benefits of Curved Screen?
By ltcommanderdata on 10/5/2011 1:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't tried a smartphone with a curved screen yet. Do people feel it improves, hinders, is unchanged for usability? It's probably because they extended the circumference of the curve outside the phone chassis, but that looks like a pretty big curve.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By KnightBreed on 10/5/2011 1:53:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've been messing with a couple Nexus S 4G's for work and, at least for this phone, the curved screen is just a gimmick. It doesn't help or hinder the experience, at least compared to my Incredible S for personal use.

Just looking at the Nexus S, I can't tell if the LCD is actually curved or just the case around it. It doesn't seem to make a difference. Honestly, the curved phone does look kind of cool, so I guess there is the novelty factor.

We'll see how it works on the Prime. The screen is bigger and the curve seems more drastic.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By kleinma on 10/5/2011 2:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think a curved phone is great when you are using it as well.... a phone. Large rectangular phones always feel a bit odd being held up to my face. Especially when some background noise keeps me swapping the earpiece or microphone for which one is closest to my face.

I think it will also help fend off potential suits from Apple over design.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By quiksilvr on 10/5/2011 2:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was done for durability reasons? Like if you drop it it's highly unlikely the screen will get damaged.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By TheRequiem on 10/5/2011 4:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care what they do with this AS LONG as they release it to all the carriers, if this is a Verizon only deal or whatever... not only would it shoot them in the foot, but I think I would join the dark side of the force!

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By DFranch on 10/5/2011 6:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't the droid you're looking for. I couldn't resist.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By Roffles on 10/5/2011 7:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
It will probably make it to other carriers eventually...but Verizon is trying to pimp their new LTE network and they can't do that without an LTE god-phone. It makes sense (to me at least) that this phone would come to Verizon first.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By Samus on 10/6/2011 4:04:25 AM , Rating: 1
The biggest advantage of a curved screen is protection. If you drop it on something flat, the screen won't be damaged. One of my friends swears by this logical implementation as he broke his last phone's LCD (G2x) in what he accounts as a very light drop, but still cracking the screen.

The other advantages are glare reduction, more natural feel in hand (like a flip phone) and supposedly less noticable fingerprints.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By bug77 on 10/5/2011 2:41:00 PM , Rating: 1
Just looking at the Nexus S, I can't tell if the LCD is actually curved or just the case around it.

It's just the glass on top. But OLED in bendable by nature so if Samsung wants to go that way, they can do it easily.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By Goty on 10/5/2011 5:36:56 PM , Rating: 3
This display will almost certainly be a SAMOLED display, meaning that the LCD, digitizer and glass are all bonded into one component. This means that the glass alone cannot be curved.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By bug77 on 10/6/2011 3:13:52 AM , Rating: 1
Did you even look at it? It's a piece of glass on top with a curved surface on one side. How on earth do you bind the OLED layer and the glass together?

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By Goty on 10/6/2011 5:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
It's actually bonded to the digitizer and the digitizer is bonded to the glass, but yes, I did look at it.

By theapparition on 10/5/2011 4:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
The screen is curved very slightly. A lot less than it appears from the photograph. Optical illusion with the curve.

RE: Benefits of Curved Screen?
By Kel Ghu on 10/5/2011 5:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't feel very different at first. But it feels weird going back to a flat screen afterwards. The curvy screen feels more natural and requires less movement from the arm. It seems nothing, but the difference is significant when you get used to it.

By TakinYourPoints on 10/6/2011 1:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
A slightly curved screen makes sense since you often slide your thumb on a vertical axis on it. Moving your thumb up and down a slight curve seems more ergonomic than doing the same on a flat surface with no "give".

Amazing hardware specs....
By daveinternets on 10/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By Da W on 10/5/2011 4:13:10 PM , Rating: 1
Yes yes yes! I'm with ya! HTC titan with dual core and beats audio by Dr. Dre. I would be happy.

RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By Roffles on 10/5/2011 8:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm inclined to agree. At first I thought the whole Dr. Dre beats audio thing was a gimmick (and actually I still do), but at least one of these Android manufacturers is trying to take audio fidelity seriously.

I mean, Korea is the place where Cowon and iRiver come from....they set the bar for portable audio quality on their pmp's. It's high time we got that sort of audio quality on our phones.

RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By theapparition on 10/5/2011 4:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting that you should say that. MS is in complete control of that.

Apple is in full control of thier hardware and software. People are stuck with what Apple decides to give.

Google only releases the source code to manufacturers who then can customize the OS to whatever hardware they chose. Other than the Nexus devices, which really are just a developement platform for the new OS, Google doesn't really get involved. Carriers also get involved to make the phone somewhat distinctive to them. This leads to faster developement and larger selection of handsets, but also fragmentation and slower updates.

MS on the other hand, is in full control of the OS. No carrier modfications allowed. But they also control the hardware specs. Since they control the end product software, they need to know the hardware it will be installed on. Hence right now, they've limited thier hardware specs to only use the Snapdragon SoC, and limited support hardware and LCD resolutions. To get better WinMo7 hardware, MS has to increase the minimum hardware specs to it's manufacturers.

RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By mcnabney on 10/5/2011 5:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
MS also made a bunch of other rules governing things like shape and button placement. Nexus Prime would be in violation of those rules. So the answer to your question is that WP7 phones are boring and all look alike because Microsoft WANTS them to be boring and look alike.

RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By seamonkey79 on 10/5/2011 6:11:08 PM , Rating: 1
Because Microsoft, as always, wants to somehow get a hold on Apple's 'cool' branding, no matter how poorly they fail to do so each and every time.

RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By seamonkey79 on 10/5/2011 6:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
I am a Windows user with an Android phone and the only people that I know with Apple stuff is my sister who ignored me and bought a Droid Eris after I told her it wasn't that good and my Mom who was convinced by my sister while they were 1200 miles away.

RE: Amazing hardware specs....
By DFranch on 10/5/2011 6:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung has a focus s coming out on AT&T. It sounds like a galaxy s2 but with WP7

By TakinYourPoints on 10/6/2011 3:15:24 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, it is insane that Windows Phone 7 handsets are lagging in hardware. It is such a good mobile OS

Not the highest resolution.
By micksh on 10/5/2011 1:49:32 PM , Rating: 4
LG LU6200 would have higher resolution. While on paper it looks the same 1280x720, LG's display has 50% more subpixels.
Samsung's display is SuperAMOLED (not Plus), therefore pentile - two subpixels per pixel. LG's display is IPS LCD - full RGB triplet per pixel.

RE: Not the highest resolution.
By Omega215D on 10/5/2011 3:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
HTC will be releasing the Vigor soon as well and it sports a 720 display. I guess Samsung will have everyone beat by a couple of weeks or so.

RE: Not the highest resolution.
By mcnabney on 10/5/2011 5:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Vigor might beat Prime out the door. They are similar, same screen resolution of 720p, but Prime has ICS while Vigor appears to remain on Gingerbread. Vigor may need to undercut the Prime price if they come to market at the same time since Vigor isn't flashy and has an older OS.

RE: Not the highest resolution.
By theapparition on 10/5/2011 4:06:36 PM , Rating: 2

Because Samsung hasn't released any specs on this phone at all. What makes you conclude it will be only be SuperAMOLED and not SuperAMOLED+?

RE: Not the highest resolution.
By Roffles on 10/5/2011 7:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly apparition. People are talking about the screen with authority as if the specs have been confirmed.

But you do have to at least admit that all signs are pointing to it being regular SuperAMOLED. The main reason being the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy SII HD LTE are both using SuperAMOLED HD displays which are not of the "plus" variety.

At any rate...the resolution and ppi is so high, nobody is seeing any problem with the Pentile RGBG configuration on the Note and HD LTE. All other first-world problems considered, it should be a non-issue.

By KPOM1 on 10/5/2011 1:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
The Nexus Prime, from what little we know about it and can surmise from announced products, looks like it will be nice, particularly if it has a 4.65" 1280x768 display. What may ultimately determine how well it does is the carrier support, though. Nexus One bombed, while Nexus S did OK. If the rumors about Sprint are true, they bet their future on iPhone for the next 4 years, so while they might take the Nexus Prime, won't be promoting it heavily. T-Mobile is the last carrier without the iPhone, so hopefully for them it ships with HSPA+ on AWS. AT&T seems committed to iPhone. VZW is the most likely carrier to promote it, but they might want to customize it as a "Droid Prime" rather than ship a vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich (pun semi-intentional) phone.

RE: Carriers
By GuinnessKMF on 10/5/2011 3:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
how well it does... in the US. The US is a very large smartphone market but not the only one, and Samsung has shown they are perfectly happy to not deal with the US carriers on premiere phones (look how long it took for the Galaxy S II to reach our shores). I do agree with you that the fate of phones in the US market rely heavily on carrier promotion, because most people are smart enough to do their own research before just thinking "Oh boy, phone upgrade time, the verizon enemaizeratron is a phone I saw while watching my laugh track saturated sit coms".

The article also states 720, not 768. So it's a 16:9 format screen.

Rember .....
By michael67 on 10/5/2011 3:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
Remember dell's 5" streak, and everyone saying it so big ^_^

By ZorkZork on 10/5/2011 3:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
After all the problems for non-US Motorola Xoom customers with getting firmware updates (we are still waiting for Android 3.2 ... 3 months after it was released), I hope Google will ensure that non-US customers also gets "the Google experience".

Raw Android is better than all the bloatware versions provided by Samsung, Motorola, etc. And for an OS that in terms of revisions is moving at lightning speed the customized versions will always let you down.

Bigger Screen and Bigger Pixels
By sgtdisturbed47 on 10/5/2011 10:35:35 PM , Rating: 1
Having a 4.65" screen is ridiculous. That's not a phone, it's practically a tablet. It's a tablet that makes calls. That's just not practical. This "big screen" nonsense is silly, but I guess that's what consumers want (look at the rumors for he iPhone 5 that went around saying the new phone was going to have a larger screen. Wants turned into rumors.)

This phone may have good resolution, but the pixel density is still not that great. It has a density of 315.8 ppi, and the iPhone still has it beat by having a density of 329.6 ppi. Big screen doesn't make it sharper or easier to read, it just blows things up and distorts images.

And a curved screen? What the hell for?

By GuinnessKMF on 10/6/2011 8:56:41 AM , Rating: 1
Bigger screens don't just blow things up and distort them. The pixel density is relatively the same, so your "blow things up" (IE makes it easier to read for some people) is referring to the 5% increase, and distort images, where do you get that? If pixel pitch was changed you could claim it was distorting images but that has nothing to do with physical screen size.

I understand what you're getting at, I prefer laptops at 15" 1080p, and think it's utter bullshit to claim the iPhone is a "retinal" display, because everyone has different densities they can discern, marketing crap has postponed quadHD too long.

Saying something is ridiculous or not practical is short sighted, the more form factors the better, make phones in screen sizes from 2" to 7" for all I care, make one that's a curved bubble that looks like a helmet, whatever, if there's enough of a market people will buy it. My issue isn't that the phone is too large, my issue is that the manufacturers seem to focus on their flagship phone, and the other form factors don't see the highest end hardware or software that fits.

I'm in
By vectorm12 on 10/6/2011 4:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm gonna go out and buy myself a Prime right away if it does infact come with the highres display. The Nexus S I've got for work is a solid phone but the lack of resolution on the display makes me less productive than I feel I could be.

No doubt a worthy upgrade from my Galaxy S which ironically really became useful a couple of months back since Samsung finally released a solid 2.3.3 ROM for it.

more comfortable
By HotPlasma on 10/6/2011 7:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
I always assumed that the curve was to make it fit more comfortably in your pocket. Comments?

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